EU stakeholders agree on vocational education as way forward in Osnabrück Declaration

The Osnabrück Declaration was agreed by EU stakeholders at a ministerial virtual meeting on 30 November in the context of the German presidency of the European Union.

The Declaration paves the way forward for vocational education and training subsequent to the Riga conclusions of 2015. Policy actions for the period of 2021-25 are set out which support the EU's Council recommendation on vocational education and training for sustainable competitiveness, social fairness and resilience.

Vocational education and training is fundamental in developing the skills necessary for individuals and societies to recover from the coronavirus pandemic and to support the digital and green transitions to facilitate economic growth and innovation.  Partnership with employers and trade unions is recognised as fundamental component in fulfilling the Declaration's objectives.

The ETF will support the implementation of actions in the Osnabrück Declaration in the EU's candidate countries working closely with its sister EU agency Cedefop which will support implementation and undertake monitoring in the EU member states. Both institutions will report annually to the EU institutions.

The main areas of the Osnabrück Declaration are:

1. Resilience and excellence through quality, inclusive and flexible VET

2. Establishing a new lifelong learning culture – relevance of continuing VET and digitalisation

3. Sustainability – a green link in VET

4. European education and training area and international VET.


Earlier in 2020 the ETF and Cedefop produced a synthesis report on the progress in common priorities for 2015-20 in vocational educational and training.  A joint Cedefop/ETF discussion paper was also prepared to inform the next steps in VET policy-making at EU level.


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